As Jacksonville injury lawyers our personal injury clients often ask how much their case is worth. That can be a difficult question as, putting liability aside for a moment, there are many factors to be considered: past medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity in the future, and pain and suffering.
Ultimately, if a personal injury case cannot be settled, these factors are weighed by a jury which would be asked to consider evidence that may not always be clear. There may be disagreements among important witnesses including experts, discrepancies in the medical records, or other matters that may, fairly or not, prejudice the jury’s view of the case.
The term “liability” refers to who is financially responsible for causing an accident. Florida applies comparitive fault, meaning that fault can be apportioned to the injured person or to other persons or companies, including those that do not have the ability to pay any resulting judgment. Pain and suffering and some medical expenses and lost wages are reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintifff or to people or companies that are not defendants in the lawsuit.
Juries can apportion fault to persons or companies that are not even known. For example, an auto accident could be caused in part by a driver that left the scene and whose identity is unknown. In this situation, the fault attributed to such a driver would decrease the claimant’s recovery.
Because of these complex issues, it is important then that you retain experienced counsel who can draw upon past cases in Jacksonville and surrounding North Florida to better provide the kind of estimate that helps the injured plaintiff make the best decision when offered an opportunity to settle a case prior to trial.
If you would like a free consultation about your injury case, please contact our Jacksonville injury law firm.